23.11.11

Why Buy Handmade?


When you buy handmade goods you are doing more than just picking something pretty and unusual. Yes, it’s true that buying handmade means you’ll find something different, something unique, something that you couldn’t just pick up in a chain store the day before Christmas. You’re also buying into a whole new way of looking at production.

Most goods we buy today are factory made. When you buy handmade you are saying no to a world in which pollution, minimum-wage labour and globalised trade turn us into ‘the consumer’. You are an individual, choosing something made by human hands to be enjoyed and loved, not used and thrown away. You are supporting an economy in which people choose how they make a living, and choose to make beautiful things with love and care.

Buying locally handmade goods helps to build communities. By supporting local producers we are keeping money within our communities and encouraging a way of life that is sustainable and people-centred. When we meet the creator of a product, interact with them, tell them how and why we like their work, we are participating in the creative process ourselves. These interactions are what help communities to grow and thrive.

Maybe we can’t beat the giant corporations, but we can choose how we spend our time and our money, and we can choose to do so in a way that puts craftsmanship and care above cheap mass production.

When you buy handmade gifts this season, or even make gifts yourself, you are telling your loved ones that you care enough about them to gift something special. You are also telling them that you believe in a world where human dignity, ecological balance and beauty are possible. The crafters of I Heart Market are pledging to buy handmade this Christmas, supporting their fellow stallholders and other local crafters. Whenever you see the I Heart Handmade badge on a blog, website or stall, you know that there are many, like you, who choose to make a difference.

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